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Each week, we share interactive challenges with members of MyAlliance for Brain Health.

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Week of January 17th

The five words in the group below have something special in common.  They can be transformed into five new words by applying the same exact change to each word. What is the change and what are the resulting five new words?


Answer:  The special thing these words have in common is that when each word is prefixed with the letter "f", the result is a new word that is completely unrelated in meaning to the original word, as follows:

f + action becomes the word faction
f + allow becomes the word fallow
f + lawless becomes the word flawless
f + lower becomes the word flower
f + rail becomes the word frail

Week of January 10th

Rebus puzzles use letters, images and/or numbers to depict words, phrases, or common expressions. Can you solve the three puzzles below?  

 1)  ALLworld
 2)  023456789 lives ever ever ever ever


  1. Small world after all

  2. No one lives forever.

  3. You are out of order (the letters "U" and "R" have traded places; U R out of order).

Week of January 3rd

Four people arrive at a river with a narrow bridge that can only hold two people at a time. It’s nighttime and they have one torch that must be used when crossing the bridge. Person A can cross the bridge in one minute, B in two minutes, C in five minutes, and D in eight minutes. When two people cross the bridge together, they must move at the slower person’s pace. Can they all get across the bridge in 15 minutes or less?

Answer: Yes, they can cross in exactly 15 minutes. The group of four must follow these three steps.

  1. First, A and B cross the bridge and A brings the light back. This takes 3 minutes.

  2. Next, C and D cross and B brings the light back. This takes another 10 minutes.

  3. Finally, A and B cross again. This takes another 2 minutes.

Week of December 20th

When I went to the store, I purchased four items. The following shows the cost of three of the items:


The line to the checkout was pretty long, so I started playing with my pocket calculator while waiting.  I found out, to my surprise, that the prices of the four items I purchased added to the same number I got when I multiplied the four prices together.  What was the price of the fourth item?

Answer: 50 cents ($0.50)

Week of December 13th

A farmer needs to take a fox, a chicken, and a sack of grain across a river. The only way across the river is by a small boat, which can only hold the farmer and one of the three items. Left unsupervised, the chicken will eat the grain, and the fox will eat the chicken. However, the fox won’t try to eat the grain, and neither the fox nor the chicken will wander off. How does the farmer get everything across the river?

Answer: The farmer must follow these steps.

  1. Take the chicken across the river.

  2. Come back with an empty boat.

  3. Take the grain across the river.

  4. Bring the chicken back.

  5. Take the fox across the river.

  6. Come back with an empty boat.

  7. Take the chicken across the river.

Week of December 6th 

You are in a place called Wally’s and there is only one principle to follow. There is a mirror, but no reflection. There is pizza with cheese, but not sausage. There is pepper, but no salt. There is a door, yet no entrance or exit. What is the principle?

Answer: Each word in Wally’s must contain double letters. 

Week of November 29th

A man is looking at a photograph of someone. His friend asks who it is. The man replies, “Brothers and sisters, I have none. But that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who is in the photograph?

Answer: His son.

Week of November 15th

It’s not easy to figure out who’s who when the Brewer family gets together. The brother of Nick’s uncle Manny is named Mark. Lisa’s grandparents are Nick’s parents. Mark is married to Lisa’s grandma. The children of Angela’s daughter Sandra are named Lisa and Sasha. So who is Angela’s brother-in-law?

 Manny is Angela’s brother-in-law. 

Week of November 8th 

Each of the combined clues below identifies a type of flower.  For example, "small container + to allow" would be "vial + let", or "violet." Can you figure out the five below?

1. an implement + flesh around mouth

Tulip (tool + lip)

2. foppish + a large carnivorous wild cat

Dandelion (dandy + lion)

3. to wed + a soft yellow element

Marigold (marry + gold)

4. a false statement + be deficient in

Lilac (lie + lack)

5. indicates an alternative + child

Orchid (or + kid)

Week of November 1st 

What two things make this number unique: 8,549,176,320

First, it has every number, zero through nine. And, second, the numbers are listed in alphabetical order.

Week of October 25th

In each sentence below the name of a tree is hidden. “Willow” is hiding in the first sentence. Can you find the others?

1. I will owe you a favor if you drive me to the airport.


2. I am afraid of going up in elevators.


3. Drinking cocoa keeps me warm on long winter nights.


4. I hope the map leads us to buried treasure.


5. "Eat another bonbon," said our charming hostess.


6. Nepal may be the most interesting place I have ever visited.


7. Remember to fold the map, please.


8. I feel many lumps in this mattress.


9. Word processing is not as useful as pens and paper for creative brainstorming.


Week of October 18th 

7 dogs were boarding at the local Pet Lodge. Each dog was in a separate cage, all cages in a single horizontal row. Charlie, one of the employees, left the cages unlocked and the dogs have all gotten out. He needs to put each of the dogs back in the right cage, but this is all he remembers (below). Help him get them in the right cages, and QUICK!

Dogs: Beau, Duke, Fluffy, Lady, Princess, Spike, and Rover

  1. Spike doesn't like other dogs much, so he was in one of the end cages.
  2. Princess was somewhere to the left of Beau.
  3. Rover was in the third cage from the right.
  4. The only dog between Fluffy and Lady was Princess.
  5. Duke was directly to the left of Lady.

Cage order. from left to right:
Duke / Lady / Princess / Fluffy / Rover / Beau / Spike

Week of October 11th

In this teaser, you have to find the TWO words in each group of words below which do not belong. Can you find them both?

1. Dodge - Ford - Lincoln - Hoover

Hoover does not belong as it's the only one which is not a car manufacturer. Dodge does not belong as it's the only one which is not the last name of a US president.

2. King - Earl - Knight - Bishop

Bishop does not belong as it's the only one which is not a class of nobility. Earl does not belong as it's the only one which is not a chess piece.

3. Yellow - Green - Dead - Black

Dead does not belong as it's the only one which is not a color. Green does not belong as it's the only one which is not the name of a sea.

Week of October 4th

Rebus puzzles use letters, images and/or numbers to depict words, phrases or common expressions. Can you solve the three puzzles below?

1. (Estimate/Never)^(+Thinking) - 2

Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. ("Never" is under "estimate", and this is raised "to the power of" positive thinking. The "to" is removed by subtracting it at the end.)


Unhappy without you


Needle in a haystack ("NEEDLE" is in a stack of "HAY"s.)

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